Parenthood 2021: Improving experiences for new parents in York.

Be on the lookout for Parenthood 2021, YSJ’s first public online engagement event aimed at improving experiences for new parents in York. The aim of this event is to improve the new parent experience by identifying and discussing what the major gaps in supporting new families are in York at present. With these unprecedented times, come different ways of thinking about how the transition to parenthood is experienced, and where the gaps in services are for new parents. While we originally intended to run this event in 2020, its cancellation due to COVID-19 lockdown has turned out to be a positive development, as it has enabled us to shift focus to how the global pandemic is influencing the parenting experience, and how services can respond to families’ needs.

Parenthood 2021 will be held online in 3 x 1.5 hour sessions. Each session will be focused on a population of people involved in the transition to parenthood. The first will be for parents themselves, the second will be for professionals involved in supporting families locally (e.g. Health Visitors, Midwives, Perinatal Mental Health Teams, Breastfeeding Counsellors), and the third will comprise academics who focus on the transition to parenthood and early years parenting. We really welcome your views on what support parents need, where there are gaps in services, and how best to shape services for parents. 

York St. John plans to use the findings from Parenthood 2021 to help fill these gaps for new parents by creating programs aimed at 1) family wellbeing, encompassing programs for parents who feel they would benefit from mental health check-ins and other practical supports, 2) breastfeeding, which would empower new mothers by providing daily breastfeeding support and a safe space for them to breastfeed, and 3) supporting family choices, such as raising awareness around shared parental leave, and the rights of women breastfeeding at work.

So, whether you are a professional, an academic, or a parent yourself, York St John is interested in what you have to say about new parenthood. We cordially invite you to Parenthood 2021. More information will follow about this event, so watch this space.

Parenthood 2021 is run by Paige Davis, Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi and Fionnuala Larkin from the School of Education, Language and Psychology at York St John University.